When it arrived on Broadway in 2015, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton: An American Musical was an instant success, selling out months in advance. With a national tour to follow, the show quickly captured the imaginations of history buffs and theater aficionados across the country. Even so, Hamilton has faced criticism for the liberties it takes with history. The musical follows the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the Treasury, but with its diverse cast and hip hop inspired songs, Miranda has described Hamilton as “a story about America then, told by America now.” With a film version of the musical set for release in July 2020 that will make the musical more accessible than ever, this course offers participants a chance to explore Hamilton’s success and the questions it has raised about America’s past, present, and future.
Hamilton: An American Musical Original Cast Recording (available for purchase on CD, free through YouTube, or with a subscription to Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon Music)
Historians on Hamilton: How a Blockbuster Musical is Restaging America’s Past, ed. Renee C. Romano and Claire Bond Potter, Rutgers University Press, 2018 (ISBN 978-0813590295; available in paperback or as Kindle edition for $15-25)